Looking back and ahead

The rain is a downer, and so is the realization that the Orioles were dominated last night by a pitcher named Luke French.

Not familiar with him? Join the club.

The Orioles still have that knack for making every new guy look like Cy Young. It’s as much a tradition in Baltimore as John Denver’s voice during the seventh inning stretch.


In fact, if Denver could pitch against the Orioles tonight - and that would be quite the miracle - he’d probably toss seven scoreless innings.

“Anytime you face a pitcher for the first time, you try to spend as much time in the video room as you can, but nothing simulates it like doing it in a game,” Ty Wigginton said. “Hopefully, as the year goes along, we iron that problem out.”

The sooner, the better.

Josh Bell broke up French’s no-hitter and accounted for the Orioles’ first two hits off him. He continues to put in extra work with hitting coach Terry Crowley.

“Yeah, it’s been great working with him and working with Luke and Pie, and some of the guys are talking to me about things they went through and it’s paying off for me,” he said.

We’ll see how much it pays off tonight when the Orioles take on David Pauley.

Yes, that David Pauley. Is there another one?

The Orioles should be relatively familiar with Pauley, since he’s not new to the majors and they dressed in the same spring training clubhouse. (That’s one way to get familiar with a guy.)

Didn’t they acquire him from the Red Sox in the infamous Randor Bierd trade? If you call up his stats on yahoosports.com, he’s still pictured in an Orioles cap.

I remember that he vied for a spot in the backend of the rotation at spring training and allowed, I’m estimating, 14 baserunners per inning. He was sent to Triple-A Norfolk and pretty much disappeared.

Well, he’s back.

Pauley is 1-4 with a 3.31 ERA for the Mariners. Forget the record. He’s actually been pretty good.

The Orioles’ bullpen should be in better shape tonight after Kevin Millwood gave the Orioles eight solid innings. Matt Albers was forced into the game because Armando Gabino retired only one batter and served up Matt Tuiasosopo’s three-run homer.

Is it just me, or does “Tuiasosopo” sound more like a football name? Anyway, I digress...

Not to be cruel, but I wouldn’t trust Gabino in a 1-0 game. Not until he gives me a reason to do so.

I second-guessed the decision last night, but manager Buck Showalter wanted to lay off a few guys after Monday’s 11-inning affair, and he’s in full evaluation mode. He’s reminded reporters that some of his moves won’t be popular, but he’s looking ahead to the off-season and 2011.

In an unrelated note, Dennis Sarfate picked up his 16th save last night for Triple-A Norfolk with 1 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out one and lowered his ERA to 2.96.

Can the guy at least get a September call-up?

Kam Mickolio blew the save, but ended up with the win, after allowing two runs and three hits in 1 1/3 innings. His ERA stands at 6.75.

Double-A Bowie catcher Caleb Joseph faced his younger brother, Corban, for the first time. Caleb went 3-for-4. Corban, a second baseman for Trenton, went 1-for-4.

Xavier Avery doubled twice and drove in all four Bowie runs in a 4-2 victory.

Maybe he would have fared better against Luke French.

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